Friday, February 20, 2009

Lutheran CORE's Short News release

Lutheran CORE has issued 2 versions of a press release, one short, one long. First the short one.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Chavez    717-898-0801
Paull Spring     814-235-9769

Download this release in PDF format

Lutheran task force proposals affirming same-sex relationships reject Bible’s teaching and views of majority of members

Lutheran CORE leaders urge rejection of ELCA task force recommendations

February 19, 2009 — The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released proposals Thursday, Feb. 19, that seek to change Christian teaching on homosexuality and would permit pastors to be in same-sex sexual relationships. The proposals from the Task Force for ELCA Studies on Sexuality also go against the views of a significant majority of the members of the 4.7-million member denomination.

In response, leaders of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) announced Thursday that they will work to defeat the proposals that ask the ELCA to depart from biblical teaching on sexuality and to change its standards to allow pastors to be in same-sex sexual relationships.

Lutheran CORE is a coalition of pastors, lay people, congregations and reforming groups that seeks to preserve the authority of the Bible in the ELCA.

“These recommendations mark a significant departure from the church’s commitment to Scripture as the source and norm of its faith and life,” said the Rev. Paull Spring of State College, Pa., chair of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee. “The proposals make reference to Lutheran themes and Lutheran theology but forget one of its cornerstones: ‘Sola Scriptura’ (Scripture alone).”

“The proposal for change in standards for clergy departs from the clear teaching of Scripture,” said Spring, the retired bishop of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Synod.

“The task force recommendations will disconnect the ELCA from God’s Word in the Bible, which clearly says that all sex outside of marriage is sin, and disconnect it from all who uphold the biblical norm — most ELCA members, and most of the Christian churches on earth,” said the Rev. Mark C. Chavez of Landisville, Pa., director of Lutheran CORE.

“When any church finds itself accommodating its teachings to the ways of the culture, that church is in trouble,” said the Rev. Erma Wolf of Brandon, S.D., vice chair of the Lutheran CORE Steering Committee. “No church has the authority to overturn the Word of God.”

Responses to a 2004 study on homosexuality showed that a significant majority of ELCA members (57 percent) opposed change to accepted Christian teaching on homosexual behavior. Only 22 percent of ELCA members favored change in church teaching to allow for the blessing of same-sex unions or the ordination of practicing homosexuals.

For more information on Lutheran CORE go to A longer news release is available at the website.

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